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Is Governor within his rights to direct Karnataka Speaker, CM to hold floor test?


Bengaluru, July 19: There were two missives from the office of the Governor on Thursday-one to the Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly and the other to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.

Both were directions to hold the floor test which was delayed on Thursday and finally not held.

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala

In almost a similar case in Uttarakhand, under Article 175 (2) of the Constitution, the Governor, Dr. K K Pul had forwarded a letter from the 26 BJP MLAs, after they had questioned the status of the Appropriation Bill and sought for a voting by division.

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The Governor had directed the Speaker to conduct the vote of confidence on March 28, 2016 and also said that the result of the voting by division shall be declared soon after.

The matter was challenged and the Uttarakhand High Court had quashed the decision of the Centre to impose the President's Rule. The Bench headed by Justice K M Joseph had said that the governor was approached by the 26 BJP MLAs and their representation was forwarded through the OSD. It did not lay within the four walls of the Governor's authority to direct the Speaker who himself, is a high constitutional authority to act in a particular manner.

However, if one looks at Article 175, it suggests that the Governor is within his powers to send a message to the assembly and the same needs to be considered by the House.

Article 175 (1) of the Constitution states: "The Governor may address the Legislative Assembly or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, either House of the Legislature of the State, or both Houses assembled together, and may for that purpose require the attendance of members."

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Sub Rule 175(2) states: "The Governor may send messages to the House or Houses of the Legislature of the State, whether with respect to a Bill then pending in the Legislature or otherwise, and a House to which any message is so sent shall with all convenient dispatch consider any matter required by the message to be taken into consideration."

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